Theories of Justice

Ashgate (2012)
Abstract
Forty years ago, in his landmark work A Theory of Justice, John Rawls depicted a just society as a fair system of cooperation between citizens, regarded as free and equal persons. Justice, Rawls famously claimed, ought to be “the first virtue of social institutions.” Ever since then, moral and political philosophers have expanded, expounded or criticized Rawls’s main tenets, from perspectives as diverse as egalitarianism, left and right libertarianism, and the ethics of care. The most important and influential views in this ‘post-Rawlsian’ era constitute the focus of this volume, which seeks to give a general picture of the main strands in contemporary justice theorizing, as well as addressing more recent developments, especially regarding methodological issues. How to build a theory of justice and how to delineate its proper scope; the relationship between justice and equality, justice and liberty, and justice and desert; and the critique of the Rawlsian paradigm especially from the feminist perspective and from the growing strand of non-ideal theory are the main topics addressed in this selection of essays.
Keywords justice  John Rawls  egalitarianism  libertarianism  desert theories of justice
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